• Erin Gebo

Active listening skills in the workplace

Do you ever find yourself focusing on what you want to say next instead of listening to the person speaking to you? Or do you get an idea during a conversation that you interject before the person speaking to you has a chance to finish their sentence?

Becoming aware of your ineffective communication habits is the first step toward improving your ability to be successful.

A large part of communication is the act of listening.  Being an effective listener is crucial if you want to position yourself as a good communicator and get promoted into leadership roles or land your dream job.  However, an overactive mind can be too busy processing your own ideas about what to say next, instead of listening to the person speaking. Or you will continue to cut off the speaker in mid sentence with your ideas and disrupt the flow of the conversation and miss out on understanding their point.

Overcoming poor listening can be achieved with practice. A simple method to improve your listening skills is to pretend there's going to be a quiz at the end of each meaningful conversation you have. Keep a mental checklist (or keep notes in your smart device or notepad) of all the important references the other person makes. When the conversation ends, force yourself to recall at least three important things the person said.  Try implementing this strategy for thirty days to create a new habit of listening.

When you have mastered the recollection of important items from the conversation, you can go a step further and repeat the important items referenced in the conversation back to the speaker. This will help cement the discussion topics in your mind and allow the speaker to clarify any points that were misunderstood.

At the end of thirty days, you will naturally become a more effective listener and dramatically enhance your communication skills.

#workplacecommunication, #activelistening, #professionaldevelopment

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